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What Colleges have strong Computer Science?

 
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I'm just another student faced with the hell of choosing a college. I want to find a place where I can have a good time, a place where I can get a well-rounded education, and a place that can prepare me for the software development industry.
I should also admit that while I'm an intellegent person with good test scores, my academic record isn't pristene enough to get me into the likes of MIT. Maybe it would get me into the likes of Carnegie Mellon, although it certainly isn't in the bag. I am a legacy for Cornell though....
I figure many people here have been Computer Science majors in a United States college (or maybe professors...). What advice/recommendations can you give from your experiences? Thanks in advance.
 
High Plains Drifter
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Originally posted by <No Particular Student>:
I'm just another student faced with the hell of choosing a college. I want to find a place where I can have a good time, a place where I can get a well-rounded education, and a place that can prepare me for the software development industry.


In order, I'd recommend:
Cal State Chico (good time)
Scripps College (well-rounded, technical education)
Borland (industry preparation)
 
Leverager of our synergies
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Originally posted by <No Particular Student>:
I want to find a place where I can have a good time, a place where I can get a well-rounded education, and a place that can prepare me for the software development industry.


Medical assistance in communistic countries is said to be
1) good
1) free
2) accessible for everybody.
In reality any combination of two can be met, never all three of them.
Your requirements are worse. You cannot meet even two.
 
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Here are the results of an international programming contest.
 
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US News & World Report, Top Schools, Category - Engineering: Computer...
Top BS programs for schools that offer Phd's
Top BS programs for schools that don't offer Phd's
Best Computer Science Graduate Programs (if their graduate programs are outstanding it stands to reason that their undergraduate programs are excellent as well).
I can say I've only heard good things about University of Maryland - College Park, and Johns Hopkins. Like many other places I'm sure, they in locations where you can have a good time (Washington DC and Baltimore), offer well-rounded edumcations, and I'm sure can prepare you for the software development industry (I work with graduates of these schools at both the undergrad and grad level). In addition, it doesn't seem the tech slump has hit as hard here as some places, and their are many partnerships between the local schools, industry, and government agencies. Because of the large government presence in the area, employment prospects aren't that bad, near as I can tell.
 
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Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
Here are the results of an international programming contest.


For what it's worth...
I went to school at UW-Platteville, which is a very small school is Wisconsin, but I felt that it had a very good CS program (mostly due to a couple outstanding professors). I looked at the results of that programming contest (I competed in this once, long ago, as well) and I noticed that UW-Madison completed pretty high for the North American competition. However, a friend of mine that I went to high school with went to UW-Madison and also studied CS. Comparing the two programs, I felt that UW-Platteville had the better program. I'm assuming UW-Madison performed better in the competition simply because they have a larger program (there were only 7 CS/SE garduates from UW-Platteville the year I graduated). However, that does provide an excellent professor:student ratio.
 
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sometimes its not as simple as that. If you know what you want your area of concentration to be that will go a long way in helping you decide. For eg. Carnegie has the #1 program in HCI, UMD has a good CS dept but is top notch (#4 actually) in databases while is #12 otherwise, MIT is #1 in Computer Vision(Media Labs??) but #2 otherwise.
Why this might be important is, you have more chances to study/research under the very best people in their fields. So if you were an undergrad coming out from CMU, any school would take you into their HCI MAsters/PhD program and so on and so forth.
 
Jason Menard
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Ultimately, unless you are desparate to move on to some big name graduate school when you finish your BS, it doesn't make much difference which school you go to at the undergraduate level. Particularly once you get some experience under your belt nobody cares where your undergraduate degree comes from.
My advice is to simply find a decent school with a decent CS program. Don't worry if it's the #2 CS program, the #12 CS program, or the #435 CS program. Interview with the CS department of a prospective school, make them sell you on their program, and ask what the employment rate of graduating seniors is, and some of the places they are employed. Will you need to work full-time while attending classes? If that is the case make sure you choose a school that offers the courses you need in the evening as well as the daytime. I would be more worried about things like the school being in a location I might eventually want to settle in, that the finances will work out, and that the living conditions are right. In other words, if money is tight, go to a state school close by so you can remain living at home. There's no reason to be $50,000 in debt when you leave school.
[ March 27, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
Anonymous
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You know, I'd never thought I'd say this, but you might consider the Evergreen State College. While it's not Ivy League or a tech heavyweight, I found that I was able to learn a lot more a lot faster than at my previous school, Smith College. The biggest difference is in two areas:
  1. Hands-on work: In the two flagship year-long CS programs, you build a computer and develop a not-at-all-modest piece of software for real world customers, respectively. There's no shortage of classes dealing with open source topics, one where your main objective is working on the Linux kernel. In short, you're not just sitting in alecture hall, and you don't have your professor holding your hand the entire way, you have to sink orswim on the strength of what you've learned.
  2. Integration: All year-long programs at Evergreen are multi-disciplinary. In CS, this means you can't just take Programming 101. You will be ask to learn programming and formal logic and databases and UML and discrete math and usability and project management and patterns.. concurrently. While that's a lot of technical learning to swallow at once, I don't know any better way to beat the importance of enterprise develpment into impressionable young minds.


  3. The other good things are that it's a state school (a little cheaper than private colleges, unless you're looking at Canada), and that its reputation is suprisingly good across the board back east at the bigger name schools (though that may change, dependent on results of their accreditation process).


    g.
 
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speaking of cheaper, i was about to hijack this thread but someone steered it in my direction. i decided, to my life long regret probably, that since i would have to move to go to a 4 year school and tuition would be higher, to go to CC instead and take 2 majors. copmputer programming and microcomuter support specialist. as it turned out my grant doesnt even cover all of tuition even there. i can do both in 2 years and 1 quarter. then i will have 3 associates(the one i have now is electronics engineering). i am concerned that virually all the job listings ive seen want a bachelors or they wont talk to you. i have seen a few that say or equivalent. im just hoping that 3 associates, especially in related fields, will get someones attention.
PS: must be nice to be able to go to any school you want that you can get in to.
oh, and i start monday. business environment, financial accounting and computer information science 2. i was supposes to take cis1 also but it was full so i have to get instructor consent. i left a message on his voicemail and mentioned im a SCJP. i think he will let me take it. if not ill have to just threaten to kill his family(i really need that course it is a prerequiste for everything).
[ March 28, 2002: Message edited by: Randall Twede ]
 
sonny kher
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Ho Nooo...rankings DO matter. Ranked schools have better companies coming to campus, you have more research funding, the professors are well known and Internships are lot easier to find. I know some comapnies(and most graduate schools) will scale your GPA depending on the school you came out from, so a 3.4 from Stanford could be considered better than a 3.8 from say a John Hopkins.
The point is that since the original post here has a chance to get to one of these schools, I think he should make good of that oppurtunity and get as far up the ladder that he possibly can.

Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Ultimately, unless you are desparate to move on to some big name graduate school when you finish your BS, it doesn't make much difference which school you go to at the undergraduate level. Particularly once you get some experience under your belt nobody cares where your undergraduate degree comes from.
My advice is to simply find a decent school with a decent CS program. Don't worry if it's the #2 CS program, the #12 CS program, or the #435 CS program.
[ March 27, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]

 
Jason Menard
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It all comes down to what your goals are. If your goal is to become a PhD at MIT, then go for it. Most people cannot afford to go to graduate school full time however. As such you will enter a part time program where the requirements to get in are not as stringent as they are for the full-time program, and the piece of paper you get when you are finished is the same.
Another thing, is the perceived benefit of attending a high-priced school may not be worth the debt that you or your parents may have to undertake.
But it all comes down to your personal preferences and long-term goals. Do you want to do research for a living, or heavy-theoretical and scientific type programming? Or are you happy being an applications developer? That might have some bearing on the school you attend.
 
Anonymous
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I'm not worried at all about paying for college, but I won't discurage discussion of money since there may be other people reading this thread for whom that's an issue.
 
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